Returning to a healthy weight after pregnancy will enable you to be better equipped to provide your child with the best care and set an example of beneficial diet and nutrition in his or her life.
Before and during pregnancy, you paid special attention to eating a variety of nutritious foods to benefit the health of you and baby. Adopt a similar approach to health after your baby is born, and continue eating well and exercising to lose any weight you may have gained during pregnancy.
Healthy Body, Healthy Baby
Returning to a healthy weight after pregnancy will enable you to be better equipped to provide your child with the best care and set an example of beneficial diet and nutrition in his or her life. Exercising after pregnancy can lead to:
- Decreased risk of being overweight or obese later in life
- Improved cardiovascular fitness
- Improved muscle tone
- Restored muscle strength
- Stress relief
Incorporate exercise slowly after pregnancy, and talk with your physician about when to exercise after pregnancy—most women may begin around six weeks after baby’s arrival. When he or she gives the okay for exercise, start slowly with low-intensity exercises, such as swimming, walking, stationary cycling or yoga. Mothers who are breastfeeding can feed their babies right before exercise for the greatest comfort.
ABCs of Good-for-You Foods
Effective weight loss after pregnancy starts with diet and exercise. However, don’t lose too much too quickly. Losing about one pound per week has been found to be a safe amount that won’t affect your breastfeeding. The right diet, including a combination of complex carbohydrates, while breastfeeding can help mothers lose weight.
Eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains that are high in fiber. These foods can help you feel full longer and provide nutrition:
- Bell peppers
- Whole-wheat and rye breads
- Brown rice
Skinless poultry, beans, lean cuts of beef and pork provide protein, iron, zinc and B vitamins. Low-fat dairy products, like skim milk, yogurt and cheeses, are good sources of calcium and vitamins.
- During pregnancy, you may have noticed varicose veins on your legs. While these may fade after a first pregnancy, they’re less likely to go away after multiple pregnancies.
- Even though your feet and legs stopped swelling, your feet may never return to the size they were before pregnancy because of hormonal changes during pregnancy and carrying extra weight for the nine months of pregnancy.